The current volume of Marvel Comics' ongoing Doctor Strange comic book series has come to a somewhat surprising end with this week's Dr. Strange #6 (opens in new tab). The surprise finale was confirmed in a letter from series writer Mark Waid and artist Kev Walker on the final page of the issue.(opens in new tab)
In the now-concluded volume, Doctor Strange leaned into the first part of his moniker, serving as a doctor in a supernatural hospital, helping aid the ailments of spirits and monsters, while combining both his magical prowess and medical training.
"Dear reader, this arc of Dr. Strange may be coming to a close, but fear not. The Sorcerer Supreme's adventures are far from over," reads the foreword to the statements from Waid and Walker. "And as Doctor Strange embarks on his next chapter, we want to say thank you to everyone who joined us on this journey."
"Most of the great Marvel heroes have one thing in common: they were born from the unique combination of trauma and arrogance," reads Waid's statement. "Dr. Steven Strange shares that DNA, but unlike many of his peers, he never shook the arrogance. Not really.
"The trick to writing Doctor Strange is to keep him balanced on that fine line between pretentious and likable, while occasionally allowing him to fall victim to his own smugness," Waid continues. "It's joyous to write a character who is his own worst enemy, and I will miss the time that we have had together."(opens in new tab)
Waid wrote all six issues of the series, as well as 20 issues of the preceding volume of Doctor Strange. A seventh issue was initially solicited for release in June, prior to industry-wide delays caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"Are YOU Doctor Strange’s biggest fan? Would you jump at the chance to join the Sorcerer Supreme on an epic magical adventure—no matter the danger???" reads the solicitation for #7, solicited to be drawn by Tom Reilly. "Those are the questions that Kermit, Stephen’s office assistant, and #1 Strange fan, will have to answer, as he gets swept up in Doctor Strange’s latest mystical maelstrom!"
A collection of the volume' first (and now only) arc (opens in new tab) is scheduled to go on sale on December 15.
"Stories are a bit like lives. Sometimes they end when you least expect it. I've been wanting to draw Strange for a long, long time. He was my father's favorite character, and Steve Ditko was his favorite artist. So you can imagine the pressure to live up to that. But then reality gets in the way and it ends just as you're getting started," reads Walker's statement.
"Still, working with Mark Waid, Java Tartaglia, Darren Shan, and Lauren Amaro has been a joy, because working with talented, imaginative people to try to create something wonderful is what life is all about. Thank you for the opportunity."
Marvel has not announced if or when a new Doctor Strange series will debut. Strange is currently a core character in the ongoing series Strange Academy (opens in new tab), about a school for young magic users from around the Marvel Universe.
This is the latest in a string of ongoing comic cancelations by Marvel following the sudden ends to Black Panther & the Agents of Wakanda (opens in new tab), Ghost Rider (opens in new tab), and Strikeforce (opens in new tab).